According to The Hollywood Reporter, Today's Matt Lauer is the most powerful newsperson. He ended up at the top of their list of the 35 of the most powerful people found in media today. Also on the list was his former and current co-anchors, Katie Couric and Ann Curry.
While many liberals also made the cut, including Anderson Cooper, Arianna Huffington, Diane Sawyer and Barbara Walters, few conservatives landed there. Spots got reserved for Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly while the grandaddy of them all -- Rush Limbaugh -- was obviously absent. Some would say that's because he's more of an entertainer than a newsperson. However, that thought doesn't hold water given that people like David Letterman, Piers Morgan, Kelly Ripa and Howard Stern made the cut. All of them are more entertainment and less news oriented.
While Lauer didn't address all of his peers on the list, he did talk about Couric and Curry. He defended Katie's recent decision to co-anchor on ABC's Good Morning America. While many people considered the gig a step down from her days at CBS News, Lauer didn't see it that way. "Katie hasn't been here (morning news) for six years...She's one of the best morning hosts ever," he stated. He thought it smart of ABC, within whom she now has a contract, to use her the way they did.
He also addressed the gossip going around that his current co-host, Ann Curry, was in danger of being fired. "...I know there is a cottage industry of meanness out there," he stated. However, he denied problems between the two of them. "We're not at all alike," he noted. "But I feel very comfortable alongside her."
Finally, he talked about retirement from Today. "At some point you do need to remember that this is just one aspect of life and that you spend a whole lot more of your day being a father and a husband and a friend and a son than you do being on the Today Show. This is a really important part of my life," he admitted. "But it's not my life."
Some may question if Matt Lauer belongs at the top of the list with the likes of Diane Sawyer and Barbara Walters still around. However, they can't really refute the claim he's had an impact on the news, having done it front and center on a top rated show. The rest is just semantics.